Belfast Telegraph

Limavady ex-soldier Simon Chase killed in suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan

Ex-solider died trying to protect woman from bomber

An ex-soldier living in Limavady was one of two Britons killed during a devastating suicide attack in Afghanistan which left a total of 21 dead.

Simon Chase was killed an attack at a restaurant in Kabul on Friday.

The dad of two had been living with his family in the Co Londonderry town.

It's understood Mr Chase had been working security with the EU police mission, Eupol.

Paying tribute to the brave family man, deputy mayor of Limavady, James McCorkell, said there had been an "immense outpouring of shock, sadness and grief".

He described him as an "adopted son" of the town.

It's understood Mr Chase was killed as he tried to protect a female Danish police officer, who was also killed.

Originally from Merseyside, he had been living in Limavady with his fiancee Norma McDowell.

The healthcare worker was yesterday being comforted by family and friends.

It is understood the couple lived together with two children in the Drumachose Park area of the town.

The ex-Cheshire Regiment soldier had worked as a nightclub doorman in the town before travelling to Kabul for work.

Meanwhile the family of Labour candidate for the European parliament, Del Singh (39), who also died in the attack, paid tribute to his dedication to bring peace to troubled parts of the world.

The attack, which the Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for, left 21 people dead, including senior UN officials, Afghan dignitaries and restaurant staff.

Mr Singh, from Southampton, was due to stand for the South East in May's European elections and was working as an international adviser supporting the Afghan Budget Department in Kabul at the time of the blast.

His family told the Sunday Telegraph he was "funny, big-hearted and humble". His partner, Komal Adris, 35, said he had advised Labour leader Ed Miliband on Israeli and Palestinian policy and travelled regularly to Afghanistan.

She told the newspaper: "He loved the country. He's been going there on and off for around six years. He kept going back to all these conflict areas because he loved his work and wanted to see a more peaceful world."

Mr Singh's sister, Dishi Phangurha, 34, told the Telegraph he had spoken with his family on Thursday, saying: "He was so optimistic so there was no suggestion something like this was about to happen. It's a heavily guarded restaurant."

Tributes poured in for Mr Singh yesterday, with Mr Miliband saying that through his 10 years of development work in countries like Afghanistan, Kosovo, Sudan and Sierra Leone, he had "dedicated his life to working with people across the world who needed his support."

Anneliese Dodds, a fellow MEP candidate for the South East, told the Sunday Times she had exchanged emails with him just a few days ago.

She told the newspaper: "Del was such as warm and friendly person with an infectious sense of humour. Even though we were all competing with one another, everyone got on with him and he enlivened all the hustings."

The blast occurred at the Taverna du Liban restaurant, which is popular with tourists and westerners.

The suicide attacker detonated his explosives outside the gate of the heavily fortified restaurant, the deputy interior minister Mohammad Ayoub Salangi said.

Two gunmen entered the restaurant and started shooting at people inside. It is believed they were eventually shot dead by security forces when they arrived at the scene.

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